A confession: the other day in the heat of frustration, I fired off cuss words. For about three seconds, venting felt good. Then it didn’t. Conviction grew in my heart I hadn’t done right.

The redirection was much more subtle than what happened in my youth. When I experimented with “colorful” words, my Southern belle mom would march me to the bathroom, wet a bar of Dial soap, and lather my tongue. Let’s just say the taste was as foul as my vocabulary choice. As bubbles floated from my mouth, Mom made her point about keeping language clean.

As an adult, the monitoring is different. God gently brought to mind this passage: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV).

Other faith-based articles and books by Tracy Smoak can be found at www.tracysmoak.com.